tough crowd
February 26, 2021

Organizers of the Conservative Political Action Conference on Friday politely reminded guests to wear a mask at the mid-pandemic event — a message that immediately drew backlash from the crowd.

At the conservative conference in Orlando, Florida, on Friday, the American Conservative Union's Dan Schneider and Carly Conley took the stage to remind those in attendance to please follow the hotel's rules that masks be worn amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a reminder that Schneider described as a "bit of a downer."

"Please, everyone, when you're in the ballroom, when you're seated, you should still be wearing a mask," Conley said. "So if everybody can go ahead, work on that. I know, I know, it's not the must fun."

The request at first draw a few stray claps, only to be followed immediately by boos and a member of the crowd yelling, "Freedom!"

This comes after Bloomberg's William Turton reported from the event on Thursday, "Just watched a #CPAC staff member ask an attendee multiple times to put his mask on," and "he turned toward her, coughed, and kept walking." Turton added, "I'd say about 60-70 percent of attendees are wearing masks, despite a rule requiring masks." American Conservative Union chair Matt Schlap told Turton he doesn't "know anything about that," also saying enforcing the mask rules is the hotel's job. Brendan Morrow

September 24, 2020

President Trump on Thursday paid his respects to the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and while doing so was booed by protesters in the area.

The president, alongside first lady Melania Trump, on Thursday visited the United States Supreme Court, where Ginsburg lay in repose after she died last week at 87. Video from the scene showed loud booing from nearby protesters, who could also be heard chanting "vote him out!" and "honor her wish!"

The latter chant was a reference to Ginsburg having dictated a statement to her granddaughter prior to her death saying that her "most fervent wish" was not to be replaced on the Supreme Court "until a new president is installed," as NPR reported. Trump earlier this week baselessly suggested Ginsburg's statement was made up, telling Fox News, "I don't know that she said that." Republicans are moving forward to fill Ginsburg's seat prior to the November election, and Trump has said he will announce his nominee on Saturday.

CNN's Kevin Liptak noted that it's "rare for this president to see his opposition this up-close and in-person" as he did on Thursday. Another example was in October 2019, when Trump attended Game 5 of the World Series in Washington, D.C. and was met with boos, as well as chants of "Lock him up!" Watch the moment below. Brendan Morrow

August 28, 2020

The reviews are in for President Trump's Republican National Convention address, and Fox News' Chris Wallace, for one, wasn't overly impressed.

The Fox News anchor on Thursday gave a tough review to the president's RNC speech, saying he was "surprised" by the "lack of fireworks" in it.

"First of all, it was far too long," Wallace said of the speech, which ran 70 minutes.

Though Wallace went on to praise some of Trump's "good lines" dinging Democratic nominee Joe Biden, he concluded that overall, it certainly wasn't one of the president's best.

"I thought the president, who we've seen really turn on a crowd, was surprisingly flat and didn't seem to have the bite that he usually does have in his speeches," Wallace said.

Wallace wasn't the only one on Fox News who didn't go crazy for the address, with analyst Brit Hume agreeing that it was too long and a bit "flat."

"He's done very good speeches from teleprompters before," Hume said, per The Daily Beast. "But tonight he seemed to miss the excitement he generates in himself when he's ad-libbing."

This comes after Fox News hosts last week heaped praise onto Biden's Democratic National Convention address, with Hume calling it "very good" and Wallace describing it as "enormously effective." Brendan Morrow

June 11, 2020

Growing desperate for movies to watch in quarantine? You should still remain far away from Disney's Artemis Fowl this weekend, according to critics.

Reviews for the long-awaited film adaptation of the popular book dropped on Thursday ahead of its Disney+ debut, and critics seemed mostly in agreement that Artemis Fowl is a total bust, with the movie currently holding a shockingly low Rotten Tomatoes score of just 13 percent.

Slashfilm gave the film a devastating 1 out of 10 score, calling it a "profoundly joyless exercise" that "completely misunderstands the appeal of the original books" and diverges heavily from them. Collider, meanwhile, slapped it with an F, calling it a "chore" and "one of the dullest adventure movies in recent memory," and ScreenCrush described it as a "complete disaster" that attempts to cram in far too much plot into its 90-minute runtime. Yet despite the brief length, Variety says the "downright awful" movie still feels "tortuously long," and Uproxx says it disproves the idea that "any new movie is nice" to have right now.

The New York Times also writes that the film "projects absolutely nothing beyond a desire to kick-start a new hotshot franchise," a franchise that now appears quite unlikely to go forward. A few critics had kinder things to say, with the Chicago Sun-Times' Richard Roeper calling it a "warm and funny and entertaining at-home family viewing experience." But based on Rotten Tomatoes, these reviewers were certainly in the minority.

Artemis Fowl, which is directed by Kenneth Branagh, was previously set to hit theaters last month, but after theaters shuttered, it got a release directly on Disney+ instead. Disney has had live-action box office flops before like The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, and it seems Artemis Fowl heading to streaming may have helped it just barely avoid that grim fate. Brendan Morrow

May 26, 2020

Houston, we have a problem.

Netflix's highly-anticipated new comedy Space Force, which stars Steve Carell and comes from The Office creator Greg Daniels, is being hit with unexpectedly brutal reviews from critics ahead of its streaming debut.

The series, inspired by President Trump's announcement of the creation of a new branch of the military called Space Force, is "largely unfunny" with "little to warrant a recommendation," and "there is an absence of a point of view," writes The Daily Beast.

Time agrees the show is "a bust," while Entertainment Weekly describes it as "an innocuous and startlingly unfunny sitcom" that "often plays like a show that was reverse-engineered around a title" and is surprisingly apolitical despite the subject matter. Variety says it's "just okay" and sometimes "buckles under the weight of its own ambition," while The Hollywood Reporter says the show "isn't close to consistent," and Consequence of Sound deems it a show "for people either desperate for new Office content, or who still find 'covfefe' funny."

Some slightly more positive reviews for Space Force were still fairly lukewarm, as IndieWire gave it a B rating while describing the comedy as "serviceable."

This is Carell's first regular starring role in a comedy series since his departure from The Office, and it comes to Netflix as the streamer is set to lose The Office's streaming rights. Space Force is also the second Carell-starring streaming show that looked like a sure bet on paper but was met with unexpectedly mixed-to-negative reviews from critics after Apple's The Morning Show. For those interested in giving Space Force a shot, its liftoff is set for May 29. Brendan Morrow

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